Be Your Own Top Priority


s you reflect on the year ahead, you are bound to think about the things that matter to you above everything else. Your priorities.

Sure, you may set goals or resolutions. You may even be struggling just to stay afloat.

But the things that hold the most value to you will always trump these.

No matter what, I hope you include your health as one of your top priorities this year. Your other priorities depend on it.

You may have nodded and said, “Got it. Losing weight is my top priority this year!”

That’s great, but that’s not a priority.

When I think priorities, I am thinking about my relationships, my health, my finances, my work, my home. At any given moment, I am deciding what takes priority in my life.

Do I catch this really funny show on television or call my friend to go running? I am juggling something that is entertainment, which is cool yet not even on my top five list, and my health, which comes in at number two.

And if I choose wisely, I am also building a better relationship and having fun too. I believe they call that a twofer.

What happens when my priorities are out of whack?

The television show wins out, and I rationalize why until I feel better.

I had a long day and need a break. I’m too tired to run. I’ll run first thing tomorrow to make it up. I’ve been doing really good lately. This show is too good to pass up. Besides, comedy keeps my sanity. And that’s a top priority!

The reality is that by doing this, I just put myself — my health — lower than entertainment on my priority list.

How does this play itself out in our world today? How many stimulating messages are thrown at us all day that appeal to our pleasure? Messages that promise that we will feel better permeate our minds constantly and try to win our time and money.

News flash. They are short lived. Our health stays with us much much longer.

If we continue to put ourselves low on the priority list, sure we’ll be smiling and having fun but we’ll be smiling all the way to the doctor.

There is a time and a place for all things, and the wise will make sure first things stay first.

Losing weight is a means to an end, not the end in and of itself.

While it can be a great goal, it’s a poor priority because it doesn’t last.

What happens when you start damaging your body by losing too much weight? What happens when you are losing weight for the wrong reasons?

What happens when you are so obsessed with losing weight that you realize it has taken over every spare thought in your mind?

What happens when you lose weight only to realize you are still not healthy?

You are the priority! Your health is the priority. Losing weight naturally happens as a result of this powerful shift in your priorities.

You don’t have to check the scale every day.

If you are consistently making yourself a priority, you have the right attitude, and you are willing to be a student of your health, you can be confident the weight will take care of itself.

You cannot think as clearly, function as well, decide as wisely, or relax as fully as when you are in total health. Your future depends on this priority being at or near the top of your list.

I laugh when I hear the phrase, “Nobody ever says at the end of his life, ‘I wish I worked more.'”

Yeah. What they say is, “I wish I worked out more, because being in this bloody hospital bed bites!”

If you could meet yourself 30 years from now, while you probably wouldn’t tell yourself to work more or even work out more, you certainly would urge yourself to take care of your priorities.

Love more. Forgive more. Take care of yourself. Give your all.

I didn’t hear lose more weight or watch more television.

The larger mindset you must have to lose weight allows you to reach that specific goal much more efficiently and naturally.

You are the only one given your body and tasked with taking care of it. Make it a priority! You are extremely worth it.

Be viciously protective of yourself. Schedule time on your calendar for yourself. Book yourself.

Say no. No-o-o-o. Own no. Be friends with no. Take no out on a date.

Anyone with self respect will not fault you for it. In fact, people will admire your rare commitment to yourself and your health. They may even be jealous.

Why? Because average people are slaves to the next short-lived thrill. They are so stimulated and busy doing nothing, doing something truly beneficial and essential is beyond them.

Is there a specific one-size-fits-all weight that we should all strive to attain? No. So where did your magic number you are looking for every day on your scale come from?

Does everyone have the same priorities? No. So why are you comparing yourself to your neighbor who constantly chooses poorly?

Should you be among your top priorities? Absolutely. So get on it. I think you know the alternative.

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3 Comments Be Your Own Top Priority

  1. Jeff Finley

    Well said Jeff. I am guilty of not putting my health as one of my top priorities. I sit nearly all day and I'm usually so mentally exhausted to do anything physical. The lifestyle I live I should probably be fat, but luckily I'm not. If I said I'd work out more in 2010, or go running, that's a lie. I am weak in that aspect, I can't seem to ever justify getting away from a routine or pulling myself away from my desk when I enjoy my work so much. I'm 27, it's probably about time. What's a good easy way to start?

  2. jeffdolan

    Jeff, thanks so much for sharing. It's great that you recognize your need to put your health higher on your priority list. You're still young, so your body can take a beating now with little impact. It's the quality of your life later that will go downhill fast.

    I would focus on carving out some time in your daily routine that you can put in the productivity category in your head that gets you moving physically. For example, “I'm going to go walking for 15 minutes around the block, lake, or park to clear my mind and brainstorm ideas on my next project.” Commit to it. Then after a month when it is a habit you like, bump it up to 20 or 30 minutes. Maybe turn it into a jog after another month. Before you know it, at the end of the year, you will have a time of clarity and killer idea generation that you will not want to give up! Hope this helps.

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